By Matthew Koehler
On Jan. 30, 2020 Southwest lost one of its remaining yoga studios, Yoga Factory. There was speculation as to why Factory left, and there were rumors as to whether or not they would pop up somewhere else in the neighborhood, providing the same quality limb stretching, ligament bending millennia old exercise and meditation. Yoga Factory is not coming back, but in its ashes (literally in the same spot) District Flow Yoga has emerged to serve as Southwest’s new yoga studio.
District Flow opened to the public in mid February of this year, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak they “are currently closed in support of the District’s social distancing efforts but look forward to reuniting with [their] yoga community.” According to District Flow, their new (old?) spot at the Wharf is temporary and they are looking for a more permanent home, but for now, and when the city officials deem it safe healthwise, that is where they will teach yoga.
By way of introduction to the Southwest’s newest (temporary) yoga studio and local business, I asked some questions to find out more about District Flow and what they have to offer.
Who are you? Are you the same owners of the former Yoga Factory? If so, are there any details you can/want to share about coming back to the Wharf?
We are not [all] the same owners as Yoga Factory DC. Jackie Krakowski was the former manager of Yoga Factory DC. When she learned of the studio’s late-January closing, she teamed up with Lena Manning to work towards keeping the yoga community intact.. We have made some great improvements to make the space welcoming, relaxing and community-oriented.
Jackie Krakowski is a part owner of District Flow Yoga DC, a sound healer and Reiki healer, and an instructor in the 26 & 2 method, Yin, Fusion, Vinyasa, Meditation, LIIT (low intensity interval training) and HIIT (high intensity interval training). She received her 500 hour Original Hot Yoga certification with the Yoga Factory, 200 hour Vinyasa certification with Lighthouse Yoga, Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra certification with Jennifer Reis, LIIT and HIIT certification with Emily Vendemmia, Sound Meditation certification with Dante Baker, Reiki certification with John Latz, and Yin certification with Bernie Clark and Diana Batts. Originally from New Jersey, Jackie currently lives in D.C. with her dog where she manages District Flow and teaches yoga and guided meditation.
Lena Manning is a part owner of District Flow Yoga DC and an Annapolis business woman. Lena has seen the benefits yoga has brought to the lives of her loved ones, and when presented with the opportunity to open a studio in DC she couldn’t resist the chance to keep yoga in the community.
Jackie and Lena are thrilled and are excited to be able to bring yoga and a community-driven space to the SWDC community as a pop-up studio on the District Wharf while we search for a long-term place to call home. The support and encouragement the Wharf Team has given to District Flow surpasses anything we could have hoped for, and for that we are grateful. Our mission at District Flow Yoga School is to promote individual growth amidst the community through yoga education and practice. None of this would have been possible without the Wharf’s team and the SWDC community support.
Are you offering the same services as Yoga Factory?
We are offering similar classes to YFDC with some new formats. You will see some familiar faces in our teachers with a few new teachers in the mix. [Specifically], we offer Vinyasa, Slow Flow Vinyasa, Buti yoga, Hot 26 & 2, Hot fusion, Meditation, Yin and FIT 45 (a mix of high intensity interval training and low intensity interval training using resistance bands).
When did you plan to open? I know you’re closed now due to the virus. And, when do you plan to reopen once it makes sense health-wise?
District Flow opened its doors February 15. We are currently closed in support of the District’s social distancing efforts but we look forward to reuniting with our yoga community soon. In the meantime, we are keeping the community active by offering Virtual Yoga with our incredible staff through our online library of class offerings. Our online offerings will continue to grow as time progresses and we look forward to sharing our classes with all those interested in joining our virtual yoga community. We plan to reopen our space when the local government advises it is safe to do so. The tentative reopen date is April 1.
What are you doing to weather the temporary shutdown/social distancing? I saw that you have some online classes for practitioners. Can you explain more about that?
In an effort to assist our community with keeping stress levels down we will be offering online streaming classes with District Flow teachers. We’re excited to continue to offer yoga in a time when we all really need it. We are creating this online library of video classes in an effort to accommodate our members, while proceeding in a way that sustains our efforts to support our staff that rely on their teaching income from our studio to support themselves and their families. Our student’s memberships are allowing us to continue paying them during this temporary closure. We are offering paid subscription options at this time as well as video trades extended to fitness, meditation, and yoga instructors.
Any message, inspirational or otherwise, you want to give your clients and the community?
Our mission at District Flow Yoga School is to promote individual growth amidst the community through yoga education and practice. There is this illusion of separation between us all, especially at this time. At District Flow we are guiding our community to step back into the rhythm of the universe, to align deeper with higher vibrations. What connects us with the community is our human experience and our wish to see yoga and community come together in our space at the Wharf. This is profound and lovely and I know we will be there again soon.
Anything else you’d like to add?
In our efforts to build a community-oriented space, we offer discounts on membership options and class packages, available to SW Residents, Wharf Employees, Seniors, and [members of the] Military. We also have neighborhood nights the first Thursday of each month! All classes, all day, on the first Thursday of each month are $10 for drop ins. We look forward to building out our offerings to include beginners yoga, senior yoga, and mommy and me classes.
With that sentiment of community in mind, once the social distancing restrictions are lifted there will be a new spot for longtime practitioners and curious beginners to study and practice yoga. Check them out in the coming months when it’s safe to do so.
Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak, many local businesses have closed or amended their hours of operation. For up-to-date information, check District Flow Yoga’s website (districtflowyoga.com) and also visit coronavirus.dc.gov.